SEAN DYCHE admitted his Burnley side were “miles off” their best as they drew 0-0 with 10-man West Brom at Turf Moor.

The Clarets boss put the below-par display down to his side’s gruelling schedule as Sam Allardyce’s strugglers spurned several gilt-edged chances, despite losing Semi Ajayi to a first-half red card.

Mike Dean, refereeing his first match since asking for a break after receiving death threats on social media, gave Ajayi his marching orders as the defender’s handball denied Matej Vydra from going clean through.

Burnley, who welcomed back captain Ben Mee following concussion protocols, were however unable to break down opponents who have by far the worst defensive top-flight record this season and only managed one shot on target.

“I’m pleased with the outcome because I thought with the performance, we were absolutely miles off where we can be,” Dyche said.

“I’ve asked a lot of these players and continue to have to ask a lot of them, so I’ve got to be careful what I ask of them. But we were nowhere near our performance level.”

The Clarets had strong claims for a penalty when Kyle Bartley appeared to handle in the area but Dean waved away Burnley’s pleas on an afternoon when the difficult conditions made life tough for both sides.

“From a distance it looks like a penalty but I’ve only seen it once quickly,” Dyche added. “It might just glance off his thigh and if it does then he can’t move his arm out the way.”

It was the away side, now 11 points adrift of Premier League safety, who showed more endeavour early on, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Matheus Pereira lively presences.

Darnell Furlong curled wide having cut on to his left foot, as did Pereira, who moments later forced Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope into a low save after Maitland-Niles had dispossessed Ashley Westwood in a dangerous position.

Just as it seemed West Brom were starting to find some fluency, they were reduced to 10 men on the half-hour, with Dean’s hopes of an inconspicuous outing dashed as Ajayi was dismissed for denying a clear goal-scoring chance.

That was Dean’s view after a check with the video assistant referee, having initially been unmoved by the home side’s loud appeals for handball when Conor Gallagher’s loose back-pass was intercepted by Vydra, whose first touch on halfway brushed the right arm of Ajayi and prevented the striker from going clean through on goal.

And there was more drama to follow shortly after the interval.

O’Shea’s header back to Bartley in West Brom’s area seemed to come off the visiting captain’s outstretched right arm, but Dean once again waved away Burnley protests and this time saw no need to consult with technology.

Okay Yokuslu nearly unknowingly deflected Westwood’s cross into his own goal, while – at the other end – the dangerous Pereira let fly from the edge of the area, narrowly missing Pope’s right-hand post.

By this point West Brom had adjusted to being a man down and twice came close to breaking the deadlock, with Maitland-Niles first blazing over after cutting on to his right foot and finding some space in the area.

Mbaye Diagne then probably had the game’s best chance as he surged forward on the inside right, went past last man James Tarkowski but clattered the top of the crossbar with his finish from six yards out.

Burnley were caught out once again as Maitland-Niles worked his way into the box but his square pass was behind Pereira, who collected the ball and unleashed a shot, only for Tarkowski to get his body in the way on the line.